An Irish beach that disappeared more than 30 years ago has returned to an island off the County Mayo coast.
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If you’re looking to capture your clients’ imaginations, here’s something that might interest you: the dramatic return of an Irish beach, 33 years after it vanished!
The beach, near the tiny village of Dooagh, on County Mayo’s Achill Island, disappeared in 1984 when huge storms stripped away its golden sands, leaving behind nothing but a series of rock pools. But in April 2017, locals were stunned and delighted to discover that the Atlantic Ocean returned thousands of tonnes of sand, shells and pebbles virtually overtnight. The extraordinary event has been put down to high spring tides, and has captured the attention of newsrooms all over the world. But then, Achill Island is a place where anything can happen.
Lashed by Atlantic waves and carved by wind, the island is justly famous for its pristine beaches, five of which boast Blue Flag status. Now with the miraculous reappearance of Dooagh, it could soon be six.
These beaches are perfect for surfing, sea-kayaking and scuba diving adventures. Adrenaline junkies will also find satisfaction in rock-climbing, sailing, horse-riding and golf on Achill, as well as walking, running or cycling the 42km Great Western Greenway, an off-road track that follows an old railway line from Achill to the lively town of Westport.
Escaping to the island can also mean gentler strolls and bike rides along quiet lanes and trails, a wonderful way to discover Achill’s beautiful landscapes and mysterious scenic gems, as well as its history and culture.
"Achill Island is a place where anything can happen!"
With numerous attractions, festivals and sporting events to tap into throughout the year, few places can offer a better Wild Atlantic Way experience than Achill Island. In fact, some of the world’s most important writers were inspired by its golden sands and remote location.
English novelist Graham Greene is said to have written parts of The Heart of the Matter and The Fallen Idol while on Achill. German-born Nobel laureate Heinrich Boll spent time here, and the island hosts an artist’s residency and memorial weekend dedicated to Boll every spring. Noted Irish landscape artist Paul Henry is also known to have found artistic sanctuary here.
You can still experience the creative vibes of the island at Scoil Acla, one of Ireland’s oldest traditional music summer schools (22-29 July), which has been promoting traditional Irish music, arts and culture for the past 30 years. At the heart of Scoil Acla is tuition – for all ages and abilities – in a range of traditional musical instruments, including the harp, uileann pipes, fiddle, concert flute, bango, concertina, tin whistle and accordion. Scoil Acla also hosts a highly-respected writers’ workshop, along with regular concerts, poetry readings, drama
performances and art exhibitions.